Things you need to know while porting your health insurance

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • There are waiting periods for health insurance plans that typically consist of three timelines: 30 days for new policies, up to two years for most illnesses, and up to four years for pre-existing diseases.
  • You will need to complete the entire waiting period for pre-existing illnesses if you are searching for a higher cover or your policy has less tenurity.
  • When applying for a port health insurance policy, you can always demand an improvement in the guaranteed amount.
New Delhi: Health insurance policy is a financial tool that is essential to safeguard you and your family from unforeseen events such as medical emergencies. It not only protects you and your family but also helps you save your hard earned money and avail best quality medical treatment without worrying about funds.

Health insurance portability was introduced by the IRDAI in 2011. Portability means the right accorded to an individual health insurance policy holder (including family cover) to transfer the credit gained by the insured for pre-existing conditions and time bound exclusions if the policyholder chooses to switch from one insurer to another insurer, provided the previous policy has been maintained without any break.

Many people know portability as switching from one telecommunication service to another. But not many are aware that health insurance plans also offer portability benefits to the insured. Health insurance portability is a facility through which a policyholder can switch from their current health insurance company to another or existing health insurance policy to a new one in order to avail better services., Said Ankit Agrawal, Co-founder and CEO, InsuranceDekho.

Porting health insurance plans offer the policyholder the flexibility of not remaining stuck with the existing insurer even in case of dissatisfaction. Instead, one may look for a better cover, premium, or services with another insurer that is ready to offer you the benefits that you are looking for in your health insurance policy.

Below mentioned are some points suggested by Ankit Agrawal that you must consider while porting your current health insurance policy:

Plan features – Go for a health insurance package that, without any sub-limits, offers both hospitalization and daycare procedures. Note that all policies are distinct from each other and are regulated by their underwriting.

Waiting period – There are waiting periods for health insurance plans that typically consist of three timelines: 30 days for new policies, up to two years for most illnesses, and up to four years for pre-existing diseases. Often, you will need to complete the entire waiting period for pre-existing illnesses if you are searching for a higher cover or your policy has less tenurity.

New insurer’s coverage – Let us assume that the insured has agreed to port health insurance policy, after giving it some thought, to enjoy lower premiums. While providing lower premiums compared to your current policy, some insurance providers can, however, resort to reducing coverage. So, before switching to a new insurance policy supplier, check the insurance coverages.

Higher sum insured – When applying for a port health insurance policy, you can always demand an improvement in the guaranteed amount. This is, however, strictly at the discretion of the underwriter. Also, if you attempt to port a single member out of a floater cover with a substantial increase in the promised amount, you can come directly under the new service provider’s scrutiny. This generally occurs when you are looking for an undesirable health condition to improve your coverage plan.

Porting timeline – The earliest you can apply for porting of your existing health insurance policy is 60 days before the expiry of your existing health insurance policy, and the latest is 45 days. Bear in mind this timeline to prevent rejection of your submission. The insurance regulator also needs to have insurance claims and other information within 7-15 days of your portability form being submitted.

Submitting the correct application – Make sure you have filled out the necessary information including your pre-existing disease in the form and have all the documentation in order relevant to your current policy. Also, do not neglect the timeline of the application. If you are below 50 years old and have a clean claim record, you have the best chance of acceptance for the porting of a health insurance policy. Be sure to carefully compare all your options, and before signing up, do not forget to go over the new insurance company’s fine print.

Age factor – Some insurance providers are hesitant to accept health insurance portability requests for senior citizens, since the older one gets, the more vulnerable they are to health conditions. Some insurers also charge high loading costs if they see that the applicant is over 55 years old and having chronic disease.

Medical history – If you have a pre-existing condition or a health concern that needs regular hospital visits, you will not be able to port your health insurance. The applicant must undergo a medical examination to examine his or her health condition if he or she is over 45 years of age. If medical conditions show the signs of illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, your offer for health insurance portability may be denied by the new insurer. In addition, in the event of a history of cardiovascular or renal failure, where recurring costs are high, your application may also be denied.

The network of medical facilities – Ensure that whichever policy you choose to go ahead with has a reliable network of doctors and hospitals in locations that are convenient to you. It is necessary to hurry to your nearest hospitals that provide good care at the time of emergency. Your new policy should have a cashless facility with maximum hospitals. It is important to keep this in mind while carrying health insurance.

For all existing health insurance policyholders, porting is a useful option, as it provides the ability to move to a better policy. Better quality requirements from the new insurance provider are among the advantages of health insurance portability. You will get a competitive price and better features on the plans, as a policyholder.

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